Doctor explains why condoms are the most reliable method

The latest data on sexually transmitted infections (STI) surveillance in Spain compiled by the National Center for Epidemiology show an increase in its incidence, with the main impact to young people.Dr. Miguel Marcos, Head of the Internal Medicine Service and Infectious Diseases Unit at Chiron Salud Hospital in Malaga, explains that the most common HIV, herpes simplex type 2, urethritis Chlamydia trachomatisgonococcal urethritis (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), human papilloma infection and syphilis (Treponema pallidum).

In addition, they are susceptible to hepatitis A, B or C, Marcos added. “Some of these infections They have no treatment to cure or eradicate” experts clarified. Currently, they have been discovered Ways to neutralize infections like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasisand for hepatitis B and herpes simplex virus (HSV), HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, only steps can be taken to minimize their impact.

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In some cases, patients don’t even know they are affected by an STI. More over, Some people still can’t tell the difference between an infection and an STD. The nuances are subtle, but can be understood with a simple example. When a person has cervical cancer, they may develop a disease that may be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Marcos explained that before 1998, there was no difference between the two.But from that day on, the World Health Organization coined the term “STI”Because not all infectious processes that are transmitted from one person to another related to sexual activity can be classified as a disease.“. Most importantly, the doctor stresses, when “they are completely asymptomatic.”

Screening for asymptomatic people

Between 25 and 50 percent of people unknowingly spread the infection through sexual contact.. This is a worrying fact, depending on geographic region and age.As far as HIV is concerned, the prevalence rate among men in our country is still very high, accounting for 86.1% of diagnosed cases in 2021. It is recommended to take Early detection equipment.

sifting, also known as siftingbelieve, of very important significance” Marcos said. Most importantly, the doctor said, “This test is recommended for everyone between the ages of 13 and 75. “Incorporating regular check-ups into a patient’s medical routine is key Stop the progression of sexually transmitted infections and prevent the development of sexually transmitted diseases. How often we do these tests “depends on the risk factors.”

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One of them, Dr. Marcos said, is unprotected sex.. Although it is true that even if you have sex with a condom, there is still a risk of contracting an STI. “It must be pointed out that It does not provide adequate protection against papillomas and, in some cases, against other diseases such as syphilis.“Explains the specialist at the Chiron Salud Hospital in Malaga.

“Just use condoms”

One of the most successful campaigns to prevent sexually transmitted infections and promote condom use among young people, and one of the slogans that still resonates in the collective minds of Spaniards today: Only use condoms. For some it’s a suggestion (for others it’s a must-have) Of course, it still holds true today. According to a well-known condom brand, If used properly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy And sex as a whole.

As Marcos said, “The Only True and Reliable STI Barrier Method“While doctors acknowledge that the use of other types of tools, such as female condoms, has become common in recent years, having sex is not the only way to become infected with STIs.

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“Some people may be infected Contaminants, biological residues, such as HIV” explained Marcos. This situation can occur in both family and work settings. The doctor gave an example: “If a nurse stabs a patient and then stabs herself, she may be infected with hepatitis, HIV…“. The remaining harmful pathogens, including gonococcus or syphilis, “usually occur in the area of ​​sexual relations.”

The most common symptoms of sexually transmitted infections

The head of the Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Chiron Salud Hospital in Malaga lists the most typical symptoms of the most common sexually transmitted infections:

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): It initially manifests as polyadenosis, swollen lymph nodes throughout the body, fever, fatigue, etc. This usually occurs with the first infection.

Many times it is not taken seriously until some time later, perhaps even for years. HIV specifically affects certain cells, namely CD4 lymphocytes, ultimately leading to immune problems and manifesting itself as opportunistic infections that, under normal circumstances, do not affect us, but in this case, they appear.

Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis): It’s usually urethritis – inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the urethra – or anal problems that can occur during male-to-male relationships.

Gonococcal urethritis or gonococcus: It can also cause urethritis initially, but may also cause arthritis, joint infection, or other levels of infection.

Human papillomavirus (HPV): It is a silent presence, which means no disease can manifest itself. At least that’s usually the case for men. But it can sometimes cause warts to appear in and around the genital area.

Herpes simplex type 2: The primary infection usually produces very gorgeous blisters and erythema (superficial inflammation of the skin) in the area, which then always appear from time to time.

syphilis: It has several stages. First, it usually presents as a chancre, a lesion on the penis and surrounding area. Later, skin lesions may also appear on the soles of the feet and hands. Other stages follow, and over time, if left untreated, nerve damage or neurosyphilis may develop.

Trichomoniasis: In men, it is usually asymptomatic.

What if there is even the slightest suspicion?

“I had sex with someone with an STI and they just told me, what should I do?” This is A classic office question. ENCLAVE ODS asked Dr. Marcos the same question many times.

“first, Contact an expert doctor“The ideal doctor is a doctor who works on infectious diseases,” Marcos explains. And, as he says, it’s important to understand whether STIs really exist and what they are.

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If obvious signs of infection are found, the appropriate specialist, Analytical studies and sometimes cellular studies will be performed. “In the latter case, a sample of cells is taken from the urethra and analyzed and studied to see if any of the most well-known infections are present,” explains Dr. Marcos.

Some tests have what doctors say “window period”. Therefore, they will most likely ask you to repeat it after a while “because there may not be time to show it yet”. and, If symptoms occur or the test is positive, “appropriate treatment will be initiated.”

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